As a beauty professional, clients are often more than just someone we see every few weeks. We get to know them: their job, their hobbies, and their relationships. In return, they get to know us. This is what many in our industry consider to be the best part of the job. Recently, lawmakers in Illinois also recognized this bond between stylist and client as important for legal reasons. Beginning in 2017, all licensed beauty professionals in Illinois will be taught how to recognize signs of domestic violence to assist their clients in getting the help they need.
The first legislation of its kind in the US, this amendment to the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act aims to prepare beauty professionals with the tools needed should a client share information about domestic violence or sexual assault. It will require all barbers, estheticians, hair braiders, cosmetologists and nail technicians seeking licensure to take a one-hour class on domestic violence and sexual assault. Current licensed beauty professionals will be required to take the hour-long training bi-annually as part of the license renewal process. The curriculum for the course was co-developed by Cosmetologists Chicago and Chicago Says No More, a non-profit group dedicated to addressing domestic violence and sexual assault challenges throughout Illinois.
It’s important to note that beauty professionals will not be required to act as a counselor or to report abuse when a client has disclosed information. Instead, the goal is to prepare professionals with resources that can be shared with clients that may be victims of abuse or violence. Ultimately, this new legislation will help professionals to serve their clients better, equip victims with necessary resources and, hopefully, save lives.
Photo: Visual Recollections | Artist: Doria Riker
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